Last updated on: 10/13/2014 | Author:

Brittany Maynard Biography

Founder of the Brittany Maynard Fund
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"

“There is not a cell in my body that is suicidal or that wants to die. I want to live. I wish there was a cure for my disease but there’s not… My glioblastoma is going to kill me, and that’s out of my control. I’ve discussed with many experts how I would die from it, and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die. Being able to chose to go with dignity is less terrifying… Right now it’s a choice that’s only available to some Americans, which is really unethical… The amount of sacrifice and change my family had to go through in order to get me legal access to Death with Dignity–changing our residency [from California to Oregon], establishing a team of doctors, having a place to live–was profound… There’s tons of Americans who don’t have time or the ability or finances [to move to a legal state] and I don’t think that’s right or fair… I believe this choice is ethical, and what makes it ethical is it is a choice. The patient can change their mind up to the last minute. I feel very protected here in Oregon.”

Nicole Weisensee Egan, “Terminally Ill 29-Year-Old Woman: Why I’m Choosing to Die on My Own Terms,”, Oct. 6, 2014

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Partner, Compassion & Choices to raise awareness of Death with Dignity Laws, 2014
  • Founder, Brittany Maynard Fund, 2014
  • MEd, University of California at Irvine
  • BA, University of California at Berkeley
  • She was diagnosed with a grade 2 astrocytoma on Jan. 1, 2014. Surgery, a partial crainotimy and partial resection of her temporal lobe, was performed on Jan. 10, 2014 and her diagnosis was that she would have 10 years to live.
  • In April 2014, she was diagnosed with stage 4 Glioblastoma multiforme, a malignant and aggressive brain tumor. She was given six months to live.
  • She and her family (husband, mother, and step-father) moved from San Francisco, CA to Portland, OR to use the Death with Dignity Act.
  • Chose Nov. 1, 2014 to take the lethal prescription so she could celebrate her husband’s birthday on Oct. 26.
  • On Nov. 1, 2014, she took the medication prescribed to end her life and died in Portland, OR at age 29.
  • She ran half-marathons, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • She taught in orphanages in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • She traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Costa Rica, Tanzania, Ecuador, Galapagos, Zanzibar, and Caymans, among other places.
Quoted in:
  1. Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?